Johnson Financial Group entered a new partnership with Racine Habitat for Humanity to service mortgages for the nonprofit's homeowners free of charge.

“I felt like this was something Sam and Helen (Johnson) would want,” Johnson Financial Group vice president and senior mortgage loan operations manager John Williamson said in a press release. “We were built with the customer in mind and we have always sought to invest back in our community. This seemed like a great way for us to continue that.”

Some of the mortgage services Racine-based Johnson Financial will provide include the collection of mortgage payments, management of escrow accounts, payment of insurance premiums and taxes and statement updates for the homeowners.

The partnership, which begins April 1, will increase Racine Habitat's capacity to provide more families with affordable housing. It will allow Racine Habitat to still own the mortgages, served by Johnson Financial, but free up the nonprofit's staff time.

"It is a lot of work for a small nonprofit team to manage four different areas of business: construction, mortgage services, social services, and retail management at the ReStore,” Racine Habitat for Humanity executive director Grant Buenger said in the release “This partnership helps us reduce our scope and get better at what we do best, building affordable homes."

Racine Habitat has eight staff members. Its full-time equivalent is 5.5. Annually, the nonprofit organization serves four to five families per year. The organization has served 103 families since 1987.

As seen in the Milwaukee Business Journal